Our Views: No-shows, no voice

If you can’t win on the regular field, move the goal posts. That’s the apparent logic of a bill that would impose a turnout requirement on tax elections.

Instead of allowing cities or parishes to call a local election and gain a majority of the votes, a bill by state Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin, would require that at least 20 percent of registered voters show up to the polls. Otherwise, the election is invalid.

The sometimes dismally low turnouts for tax elections are a real problem. The solution is to limit the calling of tax elections, so that there are a sufficient collection of reasons for voters to go to the polls; that is usually good for turnout.

Even conservative blogger Jeff Sadow, who likes the idea, notes that a no-show on election day would be an automatic “no” vote.

Does this “mock the concept of majority rule,” or does it write into law a democracy of the lazy and unengaged?

We think the latter.

If voting is a privilege, uninformed voting is an abuse — and making no-shows a factor in tax decisions is a corruption of the ballot box, not an improvement on the system.